First Presbyterian Church Blog

September 2015 Update from Dorothy Forsberg

Parakou, 3 September 2015
As from BP 229, Djougou
Republic of BENIN

Dear supporting, praying Friends,

Here I am at the end of a 3 week break, listening to one more church service on CD. I go back to Djougou tomorrow so I can attend the wedding, on Saturday, of the son of some friends I’ve known since I arrived in Benin 38 years ago.

I praise God for allowing me to witness some exciting things lately!

The annual Troup Nehemiah camp and evangelistic campaign celebrated 30 years this year and the event was held on our Djougou campus in August. I came on my vacation after a couple days (I attended our SIM Benin Day of Prayer.) but God opened the way for me to go to Djougou with some friends on Saturday for the official celebration and come back that afternoon. I was moved when near the end of the service the 387 campers were challenged to commit themselves to carry on. Those who were committed should stand. Everyone in the church stood, including me, and sang the theme song that we are committed to continue building the ‘walls’ of the Yom church which 30 years ago was at a very low ebb. Some are wondering if it isn’t time to reach out to other people groups nearby. A couple of groups have been established to study the idea. They are meeting in November to share their findings and thoughts and perhaps establish a new direction. Pray for them.

Pray also that there might be some young people called by God to prepare in Bible school to shepherd new churches. The Yom Bible school was closed this year for lack of students! One student is in his year of practicum and will be returning next March for his last year. He’s quite adept at taking Scripture and making Yom-style songs. A local group sings with him when there is an occasion – like the TN celebration, August 15. Pray for A and his family.

One day recently I went to the Christian bookstore here in Parakou. A young lady was sitting on a stool chatting across the counter with the man replacing the lady who is usually the cashier. (She was on her official vacation.) When I approached I saw she had Yom facial markings indicating she is from a chief’s family. So I spoke to her in Yom. We had a bit of a conversation and using some of our literature for sale in the bookstore, I showed her the basics of reading Yom. (She has gone up to grade 13 in school.) A couple of days later I was visiting with a Christian Yom friend in the porch of her little shop when a group of ladies walked by. One was looking intently at me and then came over. It was M.! I introduced her to my friend and we had a good chat. She has heard quite a bit about the prophet ‘Issa’. The man at the bookstore is a friend of her husband’s. They’ve known each other for quite a while, even when they used to live in another town. M. exchanged telephone numbers with my friend J and with me. J is quite evangelistic. Pray that God will bring M. and her husband A., a high school teacher, to salvation in spite of their fear of their families’ reaction.

Now September 9, back in Djougou:
The morning we left for the wedding, we learned that the mother-in-law of my co-translator, A., passed away early that morning. So we had a funeral to attend on Sunday morning. There were great testimonies to her faithfulness to God in spite of long years of illness, with intervening highs and lows. Her prayer for her many children was that they maintain their unity and that they remain close to the Lord. A’s wife is her youngest child. Their oldest is nearly 20! You can imagine the size of the extended family!
The wedding on Saturday was great! The groom even took the mike and sang part of the song that 2 of his fellow choir members were singing in honor of him and his bride!

On Monday, more than 400 kids, ages 7-14, arrived for a week of camp. A. is camp director. He wasn’t well but is doing better. He has learned to delegate a number of tasks! The kids are studying the book of Ruth this year. I am pleased that a number of our church young people are involved in teaching and various other jobs. The teaching is done in French and then again in the afternoon for 4 different language groups, including French. Some of the teachers are taking time to make sure unchurched kids understand the teaching.

My other co-translator, I., is in his second, and last, week of teaching teachers to use the materials he has been helping to develop. The government is following up on research that shows that a child learns best in his own language. Several languages have been chosen, including Yom, to be used in the early years of these children’s education. I. is a great asset to this work due to the computer and Yom language skills he has been honing during his decades of Yom translation work.

I. and A. both need to take time for a rest so we’ll see when we are next all in the office together.

Today I started back into the office. I am starting to work through the draft of Ecclesiastes. It was done by Abraham a number of years ago, translating from the text in the Lokpa language. I found a Translators’ Handbook for Ecclesiastes. The first sentence says ‘There is perhaps no book in the Old Testament that has caused so many problems for interpreters as the book of Ecclesiastes.’ So please pray for me and my colleagues as we work through this book! Our translation needs to be accurate, clear and natural.

Our next checking session is the last week of October, right after our SIM Spiritual Life Conference. We’ll be finishing 2 Chronicles (from chapter 13) and starting Ecclesiastes.

Thank you so much for your continuing prayer and financial support for me and for our Yom Bible translation project. We’re nearing the end!

With love in Christ,

Dorothy
Dorothy (Dodi) Forsberg

The Bible for the Yom People

UEEB/SIM, BP 229
Djougou, BENIN



Adult Sunday School Classes Starting 9/20

Join us for a special one-day class on Sunday 9/20 in South Chapel: The 90-Day Gospel Challenge Clinic. This class is designed to encourage you and help you get the most out of the 90-Day Gospel Challenge. Then from 9/27-10/18, renowned author and speaker Rev. Earl Palmer will be back with part II of his series on Paul’s Book of Romans: “Followers of Jesus in the World We Live In” (also in South Chapel).
 
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With Sympathy: Vernon Baldwin

55f211761c269Long-time FPC member Vernon Baldwin (born November 27, 1917) went to be with Jesus on Thursday, September 3, A member of FPC since 1962, Vernon was owner of Proctor Paint & Hardware in Tacoma for 33 years and a veteran of World War II. His memorial service will be held on Friday, September 18 at 11:00am at the Haven of Rest in Gig Harbor.



Made: A Creative Gathering for Women

The women of FPC and their friends are invited to enjoy a day of creativity and fellowship at “Made: A Creative Gathering for Women” on Saturday, October 17th from 9 am to 4:30 pm. Cost is $60 (includes materials and lunch). You can register online or get a paper registration form after the Sunday worship service in Fellowship Hall. You can also request a registration form  electronically by sending an email to michelle.rowland@yahoo.com.



Lydia Fellowship Meets on Sept. 15

All women are welcome to join the Lydia Fellowship! They meet for dessert and fellowship followed by a rotating study. Their next meeting will be Tuesday, September 15th at 6:30pm at the home of Jean Williams. The focus for Sept. is prayer. Carpool is available through Rita Martin, 253-472-0973.



New Women’s Bible Study Begins

Tue., September 15th at 7:00pm and Wed., September 16th at 9:15am in South Chapel. We will be taking the 90-Day Gospel Challenge together!  We encourage women to purchase one of the 90-Day Journals as the book for this study. Cost is $5.00, and it is available in Fellowship Hall on Sunday mornings. Childcare available on Wednesday mornings.



Tough Questions High School Class Starts 9/20

What are your toughest questions about the Christian faith? If you are a High School student, we invite you to join our “Tough Questions” class on Sunday mornings @ 9:15 am starting Sept. 20. If you come, you will help determine the content of the class!. We are going to choose our topics based on the questions submitted by the participants (and you will be able to submit them anonymously if you want to). Do you have questions about the Bible, sexuality, salvation, science and faith, pain and suffering, or something else? Come and let’s explore them together! For more info., contact Sonja West @ sonja@nutley.org.
 
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Youth-Parent Fall Kick-Off Potluck

Come meet the Youth Ministry leaders and learn more about this year’s youth program at the Youth-Parent Fall Kick-Off Potluck at 5:00 pm on Sunday, Sept. 13. If your last name begins with A-M, please bring a dessert to share. If your last name begins with N-Z, please bring a main dish to share. To RSVP or if you have questions, please contact miverson@fpctacoma.org. 


Kick-Off Sunday in Fellowship Hall on 9/13

Join us in Fellowship Hall on Sept. 13 at 9:15 am and get all the information you need about the various ministries and programs of FPC Tacoma for the coming year.



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